Forgetfulness — and then old friends resurface

Beware: memories come up and take over.

Have you ever felt scared that you were forgetting your life? The childhood stories your mother doesn’t insist on re-telling at every family gathering, the secrets you shared with your friends, those simple little things that meant so much to you?

Or even more recent stories, things you lived in college, parties you went to, awesome people you talked to that one time and never saw again, stuff that made you feel every there. Like this isn’t a trial, this isn’t a movie, this is your life, and these are your stories?

I’m twenty years old, and I’ve held some sort of diary (which I liked to call “journal”, so I’d feel all grown up and British) ever since I was 11. I have a trunkful of all my older journals, with all the little dramas, and all those hidden messages we’d send to one another during class, all the sketches from my “I’m-such-an-artist” fase, several comments on whatever reading I’d been doing at the time… It’s A LOT. I mean, REALLY.

But if you ask me right now to tell you a story about that time, I can only think of the ones that bugged me. You know. That time, in Drama Class, that I got the nameless part and teacher was personally offended I didn’t want to jump up and down in utter joy. Or that other time that I was going to go to the city’s Public Library with my best friend, but my mother got a migrain and couldn’t take me, and she told me “Well, you had to learn disappointment somehow” and I think I might have felt the mental equivalent of “¬¬” for the first time. Or that time my friend started reading the first Harry Potter, and I was on The Prisoner of Azkaban, and accidentally told her about Hogwarts and she did the funniest and scariest face I’d ever seen.

OK. Maybe a few happy ones too.

But it’s weird. Everyone remembers something different. The other day I ran into (ok, it was on facebook) a friend from the “Before I was 10” fase and I remember so clearly the time her mother took me to see her for a surprise, and I hid on the backseat and jumped out when she showed up. She remembers a letter I wrote to her in glitter. I have no recollection of that.

I also remember that once, literally on the playground, a new group of girls came up to me and started saying “you” a lot. Don’t remember what they were saying. But my friend – my best friend – came up and said, as angry as a kid can get, “HER NAME IS M.!” And I was so confused. I didn’t really get conflict.

Not long after that, we got to different classrooms, different periods (I started going to school on mornings), finally different schools, and now different cities. (Actually, for a while there, different countries too, I now found out.)

And it’s so strange to wonder what might had happened if we’d stayed close friends. She’s as confident and fierceless as she was when she was a child. She’s driven. A bit impulsive too, but I think it suits her.

See? That’s what happens when I try to remember stuff about my past: I get overjoyed when I drag something out of the black hole that my memory is, and immediately feel the need to record everything I’ve remembered. Why?

So I don’t lose it? But it’s happened already.

Why should it matter?

But anyways. Sorry about the trippyness, I’m just getting that itch to write stuff.

Here‘s a lovely French movie that shows how we can completely forget how we were when we were kids. But in a less cliché way.

 

-M.

 

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